Editor’s Note: This is the debut column for the Crunk Panda, our newest contributor. Please extend a warm welcome to our furry friend as he delves into the movie phenomenon that is “The Guardians of the Galaxy”. For more info on the Panda, click here.
Starting about two months ago, I noticed there we’re tons of Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG) fans out there. So many diehard fans. Mind you, as an avid comicon attendee, I only ever saw one Rocket Raccoon and none of the other characters on a convention floor, but there are so many rabid* diehard fans out there? Right? Ah yes, like many sports teams and all things “popular now”, the bandwagon has room for plenty.
Guess what though, that is okay! That is what Marvel and Disney were banking on with this franchise. There were meetings upon meetings leading up to what we saw on the screen. Marvel, Disney, and James Gunn all with their own similar, yet separate visions…brought them all amazingly well to the screen.
Seriously, look at it. You can see a perfect blend of all of them, Disney plays their hand first. In the pitch meeting I can’t help but see Mickey sitting back in his chair saying “You saw Up, right? I want to start the movie like that”. Then Marvel was like, yeah, but, we need something big and just out of this world, so then it segued to that. Then James Gunn was like…you know what though, how about some fun…can we do that? That’s basically the dynamic we get in the first five minutes. You know what though? It worked. It worked damn well.
So for those not initiated, GOTG is a motley crew, the Bad News Bears of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A quintet of characters who could never exist on earth, simply because they come from all over space(and maybe even time). That’s the beauty of this film (do people still say film?), it begins to truly usher in a new phase for Marvel Studios and delivers us the cosmic side of Marvel. Yes, it can get a bit weird at times, but, it can also be insanely cool.
Many movie goers have no clue to most of these characters outside of their recent Wikipedia searches, some of us were treated to Rocket Raccoon on Marvel Vs Capcom 3, but, as a whole…these characters were new to the vast majority. This frightened me a bit, because, I was terrified we would get another two hour origin story that would end up being a mess as they tried to give us five different origins. GOTG does a fantastic job of giving you bits and pieces of back story by weaving it into the current day story line. Drawing parallels and offering hints and suggestions here and there, but, not to where it is annoying.
Many people questioned casting on this…Glenn Close in a space western? The goofy guy from Parks and Rec as anything but goofy guy from Parks and Rec? WWE’s Dave Batista as an intelligent, literal, and emotional Drax? The list could keep going. It works. It works amazingly well. While DC tip toes around and can’t even seem to bring a strong female character on screen, Marvel gives us Gamora, Nova Prime, and Nebula. Combine that with a living tree and the coolest raccoon on earth, and you can basically print your own money. There were, and are, naysayers out there who didn’t think this would work in a million years, however, much like Shakira’s hips, the box office numbers don’t lie.
It’s still too early to rack and stack where this falls in the ranking of Marvel character films(because internet law dictates you HAVE TO rank things), but, Guardians makes a strong case for top 3. When it was announced at San Diego Comic Con that there would be a sequel, it was a strong statement and showed everyone that the studio knew what they were doing. The only real failure I see with how the franchised was handled is that Disney didn’t brand a potted dancing Groot that dances along to the music.
As always, stay after the credits, it’s not going to really show you anything on an OMFG level, but, it was cool to see. The whole movie is cool to see. It’s cool to see some of the things The Collector has (that cocoon though…), there are some slick easter eggs in the writing, it draws out some emotion, we get glimpses of things to come(and confirmation of things we’ve thought), and there are plenty of laugh out loud moments. Five out of Five Pandas.
Until next time!
Yours in crunk,
*Note from Panda: That statement does not imply that Rocket Raccoon has now, ever had, or will have rabies.